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India to Commission Missile-Tracking Vessel

The Indian Navy will commission the nation’s first satellite and ballistic missile tracking ship on September 10, the country’s media reported, citing sources.

According to The Times of India, the indigenously-built “Dhruv,” construction of which began in 2013, is equipped with “long-range radars, dome-shaped tracking antennae and advanced electronics” and has completed two years of trials. 

Part of Missile Defense Architecture

The 15,000-ton-ship will be linked to the country’s Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system that will send out alerts upon missile detection and launch an interceptor missile. The two-tier missile defense system intercepts incoming missiles at a range up to 2,000 km (1,243 miles) at both higher and lower levels in the atmosphere. 

The outlet cited a source claiming the ship can even track “multiple maneuverable warheads, launched from land or submarines.” Other than missiles, Dhruv’s “power sensors” can also track low Earth orbit satellites according to the outlet.

Hindustan Times wrote that the ship could scan underwater also, allowing it to track Chinese submarines. 

More Ships Expected This Year

The development comes on the heels of a report that India will commission its first floating missile test range (FTR) in a couple of months. The 9,000-ton indigenous ship will allow missile tests of up to 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) in the Indian Ocean, eliminating any threat to population centers or sea traffic.

India also expects to deploy two more naval ships, the stealth guided-missile destroyer INS Vishakapatnam and diesel attack submarine INS Vela, fourth of the Kalvari class, this year. 


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